Factory Farming

Just a quick one today

If you ever wondered what the term factory farming really means then please see this video

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Handmade Review – Flutterby Nights

Flutterby Nights

Flutterby Nights

A review

Me and my partner use candles every evening. We are normally given these as gifts and have had a bit of an ongoing stash of these which we have been using up. It had got to the point where we had run out and I was looking for something new.

I have followed Vickie and her company Flutterby nights for a while on Facebook. Vickie is a lady on a mission and a very busy lady at that. She always seems to be rushing about preparing orders as well as keeping the customers on her page informed and entertained. Customer service and the happiness of her customers seems to be at the heart of what this lady does, as well as producing some lovely products too!

I was fortunate enough to be in the position to buy a set of Christmas Themed wax melts from Vickie as she had a limited number left available (as her books are currently full until the new year). I ordered and a few days later my item arrived.

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When I opened the box the item had been wrapped with great care using bio-chips and tissue paper. As a fan of recyclable and compostable packaging this was great to see (although I could not resist wetting the bio-chips and sticking them together to make a sculpture)

After unwrapping the tissue paper I was greeted with a beautifully presented burner and a extensive variety of different Christmas themed wax melts. All wrapped in little foil packets they looked like sweets (some even smelt like them too)

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In anticipation later that evening we opened one of the packets up labelled cinaberry and placed it in the burner along with a tealight. As the wax began to melt we were greeted with a lovely sweet smelling fragrance which although strong was not overpowering and did not make your eyes water or nose run like some candles can. We were expecting the melt to perhaps last as long as the tealight as it was about 2/3cm square but boy did it prove us wrong. On the third tealight the melt had begun to lose its colour and scent and it was time for it to be replaced. In all this little melt had lasted around 8 hours which in my opinion was excellent value for money considering the great fragrance which it maintained throughout.

For this burner and a set of 25 of the wax melts it cost £15.00 + postage. Vickie also sells the melts in sets of 12 for between £2.50 – £5.00 a set (between 0.21p and 0.42p a melt) which when compared to some of the branded makes is about 1/3 of the price (considering theirs state they last 8 hours which was about the same as our melt when we tested it).

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Flutterby Nights use a combination of soy-wax and high quality paraffin wax (much different to the mass produced cheap smokey candles)  in their products and also creates a range of novelty and sundae glass styled candles all made by hand.

Vickie and her company Flutterby Nights is a great example of why you should by handmade this Christmas period. The products are made with love by a person who genuinely cares about her product and the happiness of her customers. Just in the way the item was presented and packaged showed excellent attention to detail and a genuine desire to please her customers. The product itself was excellent quality and much cheaper when comparing it to one of the leading candle brands. Why would you want to buy some plastic wrapped mass produced candle off the shelves when you can buy something so wonderful which has been made by hand?

Interested in buying your own candle or melts from Vickie? Her links can be found on my links page.

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All the thoughts detailed above are my own. I am a genuine customer and consumer and I do not receive any form of compensation or remuneration from the company mentioned. All logos are copyright of Flutterby Nights with all product images being taken by myself.

My thoughts on organic

Why organic? I can’t afford organic food! Organic food is so expensive! What makes it different?

Organic seems to be a bit of a buzz word lately and seems to be getting into the press more and more these days. But what is it all about and why should you try it?

I am no expert and I don’t work for any organic food companies or organisations who promote organic food I am an every day consumer who has a limited budget. I shop with thought and consideration and I have a weekly budget, however I do shop organically for the majority of my food shop where I can.

Organic food, which I am sure you are aware is basically food and health products which contain natural ingredients. These ingredients are taken from nature and not from scientifically created additives and chemicals which are in some products. Normally organic producers also have high ethical standards, their products on the whole are ethically and environmentally considerate and do not contain controversial products such as rainforest palm oil (which seems to be in nearly everything these days!). People with allergies may turn to organic produce because when looking at the label it is clear what the product actually contains, the ingredients are recognisable and familiar and not a list of numbers and letters which you have to decipher.

Organic is the old way of doing things. In years gone by the farmer would fertilise his crops with manure, he would rotate his crops and companion plant to prevent the spread of pests and diseases. However as we consumed more and more food the industry reacted and in our bid to get cheaper and cheaper food it reacted. And its solution to the problem? Chemicals. Whereas before the farmer would rotate his crops and grow different crops each year he could now plant the same crop over and over again on his field, spraying it with chemicals to prevent diseases and to keep pests at bay. Less concerned with quality of crops the supermarket pushed quantity and availability. Growing large amounts of chemically enhanced plants to produce large wields in order to stock the supermarket shelves.

So as you are reading this you are probably thinking this is all well and good however I cannot afford organic food, that kind of thing is reserved for the rich and not people on a budget like me. I buy my tomatoes for 69p so why would I want to pay £3.00 for them? Whilst on paper it appears more expensive my weekly shop is the same cost now as it was when I used to shop in supermarkets. Whilst more and more supermarkets are introducing organic ranges of products making organic swaps will not work. If you simply swap a few of your normal items to organic instead you will definitely notice your bill increase. In my opinion your shop is either organic or it is not. You have to not just change what label you buy but your shopping habits too. Whereas before you might have relied on packet meals and ready prepared items you now have to think fresh and seasonal. This will of course involve more thinking and preparation but in my opinion it is worth it. After you have started eating organic going out for meals is never the same, everything seems so bland!

Ok so now I have ruled supermarkets out as a good source of getting your organic produce what are your options?

First of all grow your own – Growing your own vegetables is rewarding and saves you money. For those with little space just grow things which tend to be expensive such as lettuce it is so easy to grow your own!

Secondly you can join a vegetable box scheme. I personally use Able and Cole for my weekly shop and although I started using them purely for their vegetables I now get everything from them. They offer everything you could want from your weekly shop (think making fresh now and not packet food, although they do sell ready prepared things for those who want lazy days) vegetables, meats, dairy products (the brown cow yoghurts are a must!), dried goods and cereals as well as household products from names such as Ecover. Their customer service has always been fantastic and any problems have always been quickly rectified. They also deliver all year round and in any conditions (even in the snow!) and they only charge £1.25 for delivery which is considerably cheaper than some supermarkets. They can also organise to leave your shopping in a safe place so you don’t even have to be in to accept your order. There are other schemes available however I cannot comment on them having never tried them out.

These are my thoughts on organic. Are you an organic convert or thinking of going organic? Let me know I would love to hear from you!

These are of course my own opinions and not those of any of the companies mentioned above. I do not receive compensation for any of my mentions or reviews. Links to the companies and products mentioned can be found in the links section here.